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THE DIDACHE 



OR THE TEACHING 



OF THE APOSTLES 



APOSTOLIC FATHERS 
(trans, and ed., J. B. Lightfoot) 

CHAPTER 1 

1 There are two ways, one of life 
and one of death, and there is a 
great difference between the two 
ways. 

2 The way of life is this. 

3 First of all, thou shalt love the 
God that made thee; 

4 secondly, thy neighbour as thy- 
self. 

5 And all things whatsoever thou 
wouldest not have befal thyself 
neither do thou unto another. 

6 Now of these words the doctrine 
is this. 

7 Bless them that curse you, and 
pray for your enemies and fast for 
them that persecute you; 

8 for what thank is it, if ye love 
them that love you? Do not even the 
Gentiles the same? But do ye love 
them that hate you, and ye shall not 
have an enemy. 

9 Abstain thou from fleshly and 
bodily lusts. 

10 If any man give thee a blow on 
thy right cheek, turn to him the oth- 
er also, and thou shalt be perfect; 

11 if a man impress thee to go with 
him, one mile, go with him twain; 

12 if a man take away thy cloak, 
give him thy coat also; 

13 if a man take away from thee 
that which is thine own, ask it not 
back, for neither art thou able. 

14 To every man that asketh of thee 
give, and ask not back; 



15 for the Father desireth that gifts 
be given to all from His own boun- 
ties. 

16 Blessed is he that giveth accord- 
ing to the commandment; 

17 for he is guiltless. 

18 Woe to him that receiveth; 

19 for, if a man receiveth having 
need, he is guiltless; 

20 but he that hath no need shall 
give satisfaction why and wherefore 
he received; 

21 and being put in confinement he 
shall be examined concerning the 
deeds that he hath done, and he 
shall not come out thence until he 
hath given back the last farthing. 

22 Yea, as touching this also it is 
said; 

23 Let thine alms sweat into thine 
hands, until thou shalt have learnt 
to whom to give. 

CHAPTER 2 

1 And this is the second command- 
ment of the teaching. 

2 Thou shalt do no murder, thou 
shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt 
not corrupt boys, thou shalt not 
commit fornication, thou shalt not 
steal, thou shalt not deal in magic, 
thou shalt do no sorcery, thou shalt 
not murder a child by abortion nor 
kill them when born, thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbour's goods, thou 
shalt not perjure thyself, thou shalt 
not bear false witness, thou shalt 
not speak evil, thou shalt not cher- 
ish a grudge, thou shalt not be 
double-minded nor double-tongued; 



THE D I 



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3 for the double tongue is a snare 
of death. 

4 Thy word shall not be false or 
empty, but fulfilled by action. 

5 Thou shalt not be avaricious nor a 
plunderer nor a hypocrite nor ill- 
tempered nor proud. 

6 Thou shalt not entertain an evil 
design against thy neighbour. 

7 Thou shalt not hate any man, but 
some thou shalt reprove, and for 
others thou shalt pray, and others 
thou shalt love more than thy life. 

CHAPTER 3 

1 My child, flee from every evil 
and everything that resembleth it. 

2 Be not angry, for anger leadeth to 
murder, nor jealous nor contentious 
nor wrathful; 

3 for of all these things murders are 
engendered. 

4 My child, be not lustful, for lust 
leadeth to fornication, neither foul- 
speaking neither with uplifted eyes; 

5 for of all these things adulteries 
are engendered. 

6 My child, be no dealer in omens, 
since it leads to idolatry, nor an en- 
chanter nor an astrologer nor a ma- 
gician, neither be willing to look at 
them; 

7 for from all these things idolatry 
is engendered. 

8 My child, be not a liar, since ly- 
ing leads to theft, neither avaricious 
neither vainglorious; 

9 for from all these things thefts 
are engendered. 

10 My child, be not a murmurer, 
since it leadeth to blasphemy, 
neither self-willed neither a thinker 
of evil thoughts; 

11 for from all these things blas- 
phemies are engendered. 

12 But be meek, since the meek 



shall inherit the earth. 

13 Be long-suffering and pitiful and 
guileless and quiet and kindly and 
always fearing the words which thou 
hast heard. 

14 Thou shalt not exalt thyself, 
neither shalt thou admit boldness 
into thy soul. 

15 Thy soul shall not cleave togeth- 
er with the lofty, but with the right- 
eous and humble shalt thou walk. 

16 The accidents that befal thee 
thou shalt receive as good, knowing 
that nothing is done without God. 

CHAPTER 4 

1 My child, thou shalt remember 
him that speaketh unto thee the 
word of God night and day, and shalt 
honour him as the Lord; 

2 for whencesoever the Lordship 
speaketh, there is the Lord. 

3 Moreover thou shalt seek out day 
by day the persons of the saints, that 
thou mayest find rest in their words. 

4 Thou shalt not make a schism, but 
thou shalt pacify them that contend; 

5 thou shalt judge righteously, thou 
shalt not make a difference in a per- 
son to reprove him for transgres- 
sions. 

6 Thou shalt not doubt whether a 
thing shall be or not be. 

7 Be not thou found holding out thy 
hands to receive, but drawing them 
in as to giving. 

8 If thou hast ought passing 
through thy hands, thou shalt give a 
ransom for thy sins. 

9 Thou shalt not hesitate to give, 
neither shalt thou murmur when giv- 
ing; 

10 for thou shalt know who is the 
good paymaster of thy reward. 

11 Thou shalt not turn away from 
him that is in want, but shalt make 



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D A C H E 



thy brother partaker in all things, 
and shalt not say that anything is 
thine own. 

12 For if ye are fellow-partakers in 
that which is imperishable, how 
much rather in the things which are 
perishable? Thou shalt not withhold 
thy hand from thy son or from thy 
daughter, but from their youth thou 
shalt teach them the fear of God. 

13 Thou shalt not command thy 
bondservant or thine handmaid in 
thy bitterness, who trust in the same 
God as thyself, lest haply they 
should cease to fear the God who is 
over both of you; 

14 for He cometh, not to call men 
with respect of persons, but He 
cometh to those whom the Spirit 
hath prepared. 

15 But ye, servants, shall be sub- 
ject unto your masters, as to a type 
of God, in shame and fear. 

16 Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy, 
and everything that is not pleasing 
to the Lord. 

17 Thou shalt never forsake the 
commandments of the Lord; 

18 but shalt keep those things 
which thou hast received, neither 
adding to them nor taking away 
from them. 

19 In church thou shalt confess thy 
transgressions, and shalt not betake 
thyself to prayer with an evil con- 
science. 

20 This is the way of life. 

CHAPTER 5 

1 But the way of death is this. 

2 First of all, it is evil and full of a 
curse murders, adulteries, lusts, for- 
nications, thefts, idolatries, magical 
arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false 
witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness 
of heart, treachery, pride, malice, 



stubbornness, covetousness, foul- 
speaking, jealousy, boldness, exalta- 
tion, boastfulness; 

3 persecutors of good men, hating 
truth, loving a lie, not perceiving 
the reward of righteousness, not 
cleaving to the good nor to right- 
eous judgment, wakeful not for that 
which is good but for that which is 
evil; 

4 from whom gentleness and for- 
bearance stand aloof; 

5 loving vain things, pursuing a re- 
compense, not pitying the poor man, 
not toiling for him that is oppressed 
with toil, not recognizing Him that 
made them, murderers of children, 
corrupters of the creatures of God, 
turning away from him that is in 
want, oppressing him that is afflic- 
ted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust 
judges of the poor, altogether sinful. 

6 May ye be delivered, my chil- 
dren, from all these things. 

CHAPTER 6 

1 See lest any man lead you astray 
from this way of righteousness, for 
he teacheth thee apart from God. 

2 For if thou art able to bear the 
whole yoke of the Lord, thou shalt 
be perfect; 

3 but if thou art not able, do that 
which thou art able. 

4 But concerning eating, bear that 
which thou art able; 

5 yet abstain by all means from 
meat sacrificed to idols; 

6 for it is the worship of dead gods. 

CHPATER 7 

1 But concerning baptism, thus 
shall ye baptize. 

2 Having first recited all these 
things, baptize in the name of the 
Father and of the Son and of the 



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Holy Spirit in living (running) wa- 
ter. 

3 But if thou hast not living water, 
then baptize in other water; 

4 and if thou art not able in cold, 
then in warm. 

5 But if thou hast neither, then pour 
water on the head thrice in the name 
of the Father and of the Son and of 
the Holy Spirit. 

6 But before the baptism let him 
that baptizeth and him that is bap- 
tized fast, and any others also who 
are able; 

7 and thou shalt order him that is 
baptized to fast a day or two before. 

CHAPTER 8 

1 And let not your fastings be with 
the hypocrites, for they fast on the 
second and the fifth day of the 

week; 

2 but do ye keep your fast on the 
fourth and on the preparation (the 
sixth) day. 

3 Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, 
but as the Lord commanded in His 
Gospel, thus pray ye. 

4 Our Father, which art in heaven, 
hallowed be Thy name; 

5 Thy kingdom come; 

6 Thy will be done, as in heaven, so 
also on earth; 

7 give us this day our daily bread; 

8 and forgive us our debt, as we 
also forgive our debtors; 

9 and lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from the evil one; 

10 for Thine is the power and the 
glory for ever and ever. 

11 Three times in the day pray ye 
so. 

CHAPTER 9 
1 But as touching the eucharistic 
thanksgiving give ye thanks thus. 



2 First, as regards the cup: 

3 We give Thee thanks, O our Fath- 
er, for the holy vine of Thy son Dav- 
id, which Thou madest known unto 
us through Thy Son Jesus; 

4 Thine is the glory for ever and 
ever. 

5 Then as regards the broken bread: 

6 We give Thee thanks, O our Fath- 
er, for the life and knowledge which 
Thou didst make known unto us 
through Thy Son Jesus; 

7 Thine is the glory for ever and 
ever. 

8 As this broken bread was 
scattered upon the mountains and 
being gathered together became one, 
so may Thy Church be gathered to- 
gether from the ends of the earth 
into Thy kingdom; 

9 for Thine is the glory and the 
power through Jesus Christ for ever 
and ever. 

10 But let no one eat or drink of 
this eucharistic thanksgiving, but 
they that have been baptized into the 
name of the Lord; 

11 for concerning this also the Lord 
hath said: 

12 Give not that which is holy to 
the dogs. 

CHAPTER 10 

1 And after ye are satisfied thus 
give ye thanks: 

2 We give Thee thanks, Holy Fath- 
er, for Thy holy name, which Thou 
hast made to tabernacle in our 
hearts, and for the knowledge and 
faith and immortality, which Thou 
hast made known unto us through 
Thy Son Jesus; 

3 Thine is the glory for ever and 
ever. 

4 Thou, Almighty Master, didst cre- 
ate all things for Thy name's sake, 



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and didst give food and drink unto 
men for enjoyment, that they might 
render thanks to Thee; 

5 but didst bestow upon us spiritual 
food and drink and eternal life 
through Thy Son. 

6 Before all things we give Thee 
thanks that Thou art powerful; 

7 Thine is the glory for ever and 
ever. 

8 Remember, Lord, Thy Church to 
deliver it from all evil and to perfect 
it in Thy love; 

9 and gather it together from the 
four winds — even the Church which 
has been sanctified — into Thy king- 
dom which Thou hast prepared for 
it; 

10 for Thine is the power and the 
glory for ever and ever. 

11 May grace come and may this 
world pass away. 

12 Hosanna to the God of David. 

13 If any man is holy, let him 
come; 

14 if any man is not, let him repent. 
Maran Atha. Amen. 

15 But permit the prophets to offer 
thanksgiving as much as they desire. 

CHAPTER 11 

1 Whosoever therefore shall come 
and teach you all these things that 
have been said before, receive him; 

2 but if the teacher himself be per- 
verted and teach a different doctrine 
to the destruction thereof, hear him 
not; 

3 but if to the increase of right- 
eousness and the knowledge of the 
Lord, receive him as the Lord. 

4 But concerning the apostles and 
prophets, so do ye according to the 
ordinance of the Gospel. 

5 Let every apostle, when he 
cometh to you, be received as the 



Lord; 

6 but he shall not abide more than a 
single day, or if there be need, a 

7 but if he abide three days, he is a 
false prophet. 

8 And when he departeth let the 
apostle receive nothing save bread, 
until he findeth shelter; 

9 but if he ask money, he is a false 
prophet. 

10 And any prophet speaking in the 
Spirit ye shall not try neither dis- 
cern; 

11 for every sin shall be forgiven, 
but this sin shall not be forgiven. 

12 Yet not every one that speaketh 
in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if 
he have the ways of the Lord. 

13 From his ways therefore the 
false prophet and the prophet shall 
be recognized. 

14 And no prophet when he or- 
dereth a table in the Spirit shall eat 
of it; 

15 otherwise he is a false prophet. 

16 And every prophet teaching the 
truth, if he doeth not what he 
teacheth, is a false prophet. 

17 And every prophet approved and 
found true, if he doeth ought as an 
outward mystery typical of the 
Church, and yet teacheth you not to 
do all that he himself doeth, shall 
not be judged before you; 

18 he hath his judgment in the pres- 
ence of God; 

19 for in like manner also did the 
prophets of old time. 

20 And whosoever shall say in the 
Spirit, Give me silver or anything 
else, ye shall not listen to him; 

21 but if he tell you to give on be- 
half of others that are in want, let no 
man judge him. 

CHAPTER 12 



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D A C H E 



1 But let every one that cometh in 
the name of the Lord be received; 

2 and then when ye have tested him 
ye shall know him, for ye shall have 
understanding on the right hand and 
on the left. 

3 If the comer is a traveller, assist 
him, so far as ye are able; 

4 but he shall not stay with you 
more than two or three days, if it be 
necessary. 

5 But if he wishes to settle with 
you, being a craftsman, let him work 
for and eat his bread. 

6 But if he has no craft, according 
to your wisdom provide how he 
shall live as a Christian among you, 
but not in idleness. 

7 If he will not do this, he is traf- 
ficking upon Christ. 

8 Beware of such men. 

CHAPTER 13 

1 But every true prophet desiring to 
settle among you is worthy of his 
food. 

2 In like manner a true teacher is 
also worthy, like the workman, of 
his food. 

3 Every firstfruit then of the pro- 
duce of the wine-vat and of the 
threshing-floor, of thy oxen and of 
thy sheep, thou shalt take and give 
as the firstfruit to the prophets; 

4 for they are your chief-priests. 

5 But if ye have not a prophet, give 
them to the poor. 

6 If thou makest bread, take the 
firstfruit and give according to the 
commandment. 

7 In like manner, when thou open- 
est a jar of wine or of oil, take the 
firstfruit and give to the prophets; 

8 yea and of money and raiment 
and every possession take the first- 
fruit, as shall seem good to thee, 



and give according to the command- 
ment. 

CHAPTER 14 

1 And on the Lord's own day gather 
yourselves together and break bread 
and give thanks, first confessing 
your transgressions, that your sacri- 
fice may be pure. 

2 And let no man, having his dis- 
pute with his fellow, join your as- 
sembly until they have been recon- 
ciled, that your sacrifice may not be 
defiled; 

3 for this sacrifice it is that was 
spoken of by the Lord; 

4 In every place and at every time 
offer Me a pure sacrifice; 

5 for I am a great king, saith the 
Lord and My name is wonderful 
among the nations. 

CHAPTER 15 

1 Appoint for yourselves therefore 
bishops and deacons worthy of the 
Lord, men who are meek and not 
lovers of money, and true and ap- 
proved; 

2 for unto you they also perform 
the service of the prophets and 
teachers. 

3 Therefore despise them not; 

4 for they are your honourable men 
along with the prophets and teach- 
ers. 

5 And reprove one another, not in 
anger but in peace, as ye find in the 
Gospel; 

6 and let no one speak to any that 
has gone wrong towards his neigh- 
bour, neither let him hear a word 
from you, until he repent. 

7 But your prayers and your alms- 
givings and all your deeds so do ye 
as ye find it in the Gospel of our 
Lord. 



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THE DIDACHE 



Lord coming upon the clouds of 
CHAPTER 16 heaven. 

1 Be watchful for your life; 

2 let your lamps not be quenched 
and your loins not ungirded, but be 
ye ready; 

3 for ye know not the hour in which 
our Lord cometh. 

4 And ye shall gather yourselves to- 
gether frequently, seeking what is 
fitting for your souls; 

5 for the whole time of your faith 
shall not profit you, if ye be not per- 
fected at the last season. 

6 For in the last days the false 
prophets and corrupters shall be 
multiplied, and the sheep shall be 
turned into wolves, and love shall be 
turned into hate. 

7 For as lawlessness increaseth, 
they shall hate one another and 
shall persecute and betray. 

8 And then the world-deceiver shall 
appear as a son of God; 

9 and shall work signs and won- 
ders, and the earth shall be de- 
livered into his hands; 

10 and he shall do unholy things, 
which have never been since the 
world began. 

11 Then all created mankind shall 
come to the fire of testing, and 
many shall be offended and perish; 

12 but they that endure in their 
faith shall be saved by the Curse 
Himself. 

13 And then shall the signs of the 
truth appear; 

14 first a sign of a rift in the heav- 
en, then a sign of a voice of a trum- 
pet, and thirdly a resurrection of the 
dead; 

15 yet not of all, but as it was said: 

16 The Lord shall come and all His 
saints with Him. 

17 Then shall the world see the 



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